Kilo Kallang

The hype: Triple threat Kilo effectively dominates the Lavender estate, in a converted warehouse building located just off the main road. That alone brands them a hipster favorite, but their dinner-only restaurant Kilo Kallang walks the talk with a bold menu of Asian eats with a Latin influence.

The vibe: The intention to emulate dining in a friend’s clean but cozy apartment comes across effectively—the bare concrete floors and raw, industrial setup are irresistibly chic. The resulting ambience is matched perfectly by the menu: a fuss-free sharing concept that is Kilo’s signature.

The food: While Camp Kilo Charcoal Club one floor below specializes in roasts, it’s all about the international, exotic flavors over at Kilo Kallang. The refreshed menu expertly marries a melange of cuisines inspired by Chef Tim Ross-Watson’s British-Indian heritage and the co-founders’ Puerto Rican roots.

Ever partial to the raw element, the menu offers starters like ceviche ($21), Salmon Roe Pouri ($13)—a refreshing dish of well-balanced flavors, innovatively plated with oolong tea jelly—and Korean Beef Tartare ($21), which pairs wagyu rump tartare (a little too thickly cubed) with a massive kimchi cracker. That said, our vote goes to the Roasted Bone Marrow ($18), (not raw), piping hot and best enjoyed when spread atop the accompanying sourdough; take a moment to savor the explosion of flavors—sweet, salty and delightfully greasy.

For added pizzazz to your usual communal meal, order the Grilled Iberico Collar ($26) that comes garnished with nine-spice apple puree and apple ash crispy pork skin; and one of Kilo’s many exciting salads. We had the Beetroot Salad ($15), a tangy companion to the Dirty Quinoa ($20)—the restaurant’s version of fried rice cooked in umami broth, and easily the table’s favorite dish of the night. To finish, the dessert menu is small but formidable, proffering tasty spins on classic sweets; specifically the deep-fried Sour Dough Beignets ($12) served with yuzu curd, and the Basil and Chocolate ($14) soft serve.

The drinks: A straightforward line-up of classic cocktails done well is Kilo’s strength. You can’t go wrong with the Kilo’s Mojito ($16), gin-based Rosemary Gimlet ($16) and Kilo Sangria ($18); otherwise there’s wine, sake and spirits too.

Why you’ll be back: First-timers to the place may be put off by its inaccessibility, but Kilo Kallang makes up for it with fresh, international flavors and an atmosphere that’s genuinely inviting. There is also something to be appreciated about being so tucked away from the city; color us surprised that we actually miss the calming, second-floor view of the Kallang Basin.